• Seeing California Zephyr detouring through Wyoming and Ogden

  • Pertaining to all railroad subjects, past and present, in the American West, including California, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, and The Dakotas. For specific railroad topics, please see the Fallen Flags and Active Railroads categories.
Pertaining to all railroad subjects, past and present, in the American West, including California, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, and The Dakotas. For specific railroad topics, please see the Fallen Flags and Active Railroads categories.

Moderator: Komachi

  by Arborwayfan
 
I'll be staying in Ogden during one of the California Zephyr detours this summer. I'd love to be able to catch the Zephyr in Ogden Canyon, or along I-25, or just passing through the yard in Ogden. I'd take a picnic breakfast or supper and the kids to some rest area or park in the Canyone and hang out playing and watching the freights for a couple of hours if I knew the Zephyr was likely to come through. Is there any way, without a radio, to figure out roughly when the detoured train will be heading through there? There are no scheduled stops, but does it follow a pattern? What I'm really wondering is how or whether they make the trip from SLC to Denver via Wyoming take as long as the trip via the ex DRGW. When the Pioneer ran through Wyoming, it got t Ogden about 5 hours before the Zephyr got to SLC. Do they wait in SLC? Do they wait in Denver? Does UP just dispatch them at a lower speed and put them in the hole more often along the way? (That would make the dispatching easier, wouldn't it?) Or does the Zephyr start the detour so late already that they mostly just make up time?

I'm curious whether the detoured trains get to Chicago on time any more often than the regular ones, but that's a different question, probably for the Amtrak forum. I think this goes here, even though it's about Amtrak, because it's about seeing trains on the UP in the West, and because some of the folks who post here, like Mr. UPRR, are more likely to know the answer than the folks talking about Amtrak service over on the Amtrak board.

  by AmtrakRider
 
Hello, Arborway,

Are you still planning to railfan this train? The first of the detours takes place tomorrow (10 July). If you do take pictures, I hope you will share them with us!

Also, is anyone else likely to be in a position to observe this train tomorrow or Wednesday? It might give us an idea of how Amtrak plans to handle the time.

  by Arborwayfan
 
I didn't get a chance to go wait for the train anywhere, but I did see it going south into Salt Lake City at six or seven in the evening on July 24th. My inlaws' back yard had a view into the UP yard on the north side of Salt Lake, and I just happened to be out there and looking. It's probably a half a mile to the tracks, and I just saw the top half of train, but it was unmistakably a train of Superliners almost at the end of its detour. They seem to have run it more or less on the old Pioneer schedule that day, and then had a long wait in SLC.

  by ljeppson
 
I was on one of the Wyoming re-routes last summer. A lot of the people on board were really bumbed out about having to go through Wyoming. The UP main through Wyoming is pretty boring. The Amtrak crew chief did his best to make the trip interesting, without much success. The most notable site pointed out was a small obelisk erected by a rancher to his horse! A game effort, but not equal to Colorado scenery.

  by pennsy
 
Hi,

Sounds like you had a good time despite the setbacks.

I had many business trips to Ogden, UT, and really enjoyed the Ogden RR station. It is now a Nightclub, replete with wet bar, liquor, dining and dancing. I emphasize the liquor, since you are in Mormon country, and that is not allowed. However, I did see several couples that were "deep in their cups". I guess the ski crowd takes over when they are in town. Had no problems at poolside cocktail parties at the Ogden Hilton hotel.

  by AmtrakRider
 
Arborwayfan wrote:I didn't get a chance to go wait for the train anywhere, but I did see it going south into Salt Lake City at six or seven in the evening on July 24th. My inlaws' back yard had a view into the UP yard on the north side of Salt Lake, and I just happened to be out there and looking. It's probably a half a mile to the tracks, and I just saw the top half of train, but it was unmistakably a train of Superliners almost at the end of its detour. They seem to have run it more or less on the old Pioneer schedule that day, and then had a long wait in SLC.
Around the time you posted this, I was probably just getting off Train 6 in Denver. I went down on the 5th, and hung around the SLC waiting room until it was time to leave on the eastbound train 6. Both were in to SLC early, which was cool. The scenery down through the canyon was fantastic. Pity you didnt' get to go down there to see the train go through.

I guess I didn't mind the WY views so much as other people seem to have done, maybe because I actually LIKE the way WY looks <g>.
  by Arborwayfan
 
Just by chance, I was riding the California Zephyr west to Salt Lake City on Dec. 23, when it ran through Wyoming because a derailment somewhere west of Denver had blocked the Moffat Tunnel route. I'd been over the line before, on one of the last pioneers, but I enjoyed being on a last-minute detour.

We waited in Denver for two or three hours. At first the conductors told us we were waiting for a UP pilot, but then they told us we needed a UP locomotive for "some capabilities" that our Amtrak locomotives didn't have and which we'd need on the alternate route. And a UP locomotive did show up and lead us to Salt Lake, where it was cut off. (I have some fuzzy video.) What extra capabilities would the UP locomotive have had? Is the ruling grade on the UP steeper than the one on the old DRGW? Are there special communications systems that weren't there back when the Pioneer ran? Can you help, UPRR Engineer? (I thought of you when they said they needed a pilot, hoped you might get the job for part of the way.)

  by UPRR engineer
 
UP cab signals. Im using a PSP, thats what they needed.

  by Arborwayfan
 
Thanks. Are there no cab signals on the old DRGW or west of Salt Lake City, or a different kind of cab signals?
How is the winter treating you?

  by UPRR engineer
 
Far as i know UP cab signals are only in place on the "Old UP". The only other type is the CNW one on there tracks. The UP hates the system, i'd guess they will rip it out when PTC starts up. Pretty snowy, hanging out at home, aint no trainmen to call to work with me.

  by AmtrakRider
 
UPRR engineer wrote:Far as i know UP cab signals are only in place on the "Old UP". The only other type is the CNW one on there tracks. The UP hates the system, i'd guess they will rip it out when PTC starts up. Pretty snowy, hanging out at home, aint no trainmen to call to work with me.
So did u get any pics this winter? I really enjoyed the ones u posted last year.

I also was looking at my stuff from my detour trip last year and came across a video of a UP train passing us on the 5th. I need to figure out how to get it onto utube . . .

  by UPRR engineer
 
Nope i sure didnt there buddy, worked too much at night. I still need to take some pictures of us hanging out in the depot before they kick us out.